Dusty Baker was asked last night, after the Washington Nationals took four straight walks after a one-out single and double in the top of the eighth, what the key was for hit hitters in showing patience in at bats in which they probably wanted to get a big hit.
“Well, the key is those pitches weren’t close enough to get tempted to swing,” Baker said.
“They lost command of the strike zone,” he explained, referring to Atlanta’s relievers Jose Ramirez (who gave up the single, double, and one of the walks) and Arodys Vizcaino (who walked all three batters he faced, forcing in three runs).
“They helped us out there, but it’s easy to be patient when they’re not near the strike zone, and so we capitalized on it, we got some — usually you’re going to get hits after that cause then they start trying to find the strike and invariably they throw it down the middle, so we had some guys that capitalized on it.”
Adam Lind followed with a two-run single off Braves’ lefty Rex Brothers, which made it 6-2, and Michael A. Taylor singled to center to drive in the Nationals’ sixth run of the inning and seventh run of the night, 7-2, in what ended up a 7-3 win.
“[Lind’s] hit is the one that really, really, set it up for us big-time,” Baker added.
Last night’s win was the Nationals second in a row over the Braves and their third straight overall. They look for the sweep in SunTrust Park tonight.
Would Baker got with a lineup of youngsters in the finale? Would anyone get a rest? No, and no. He’s going with the current Bryce Harper-less rubber stamp lineup: